Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2022) National Core Maternity Indicators, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 08 October 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2022). National Core Maternity Indicators. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
National Core Maternity Indicators. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 28 September 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. National Core Maternity Indicators [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2022 [cited 2022 Oct. 8]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2022, National Core Maternity Indicators, viewed 8 October 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/national-core-maternity-indicators
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Smoking during pregnancy is an important preventable risk factor for pregnancy complications and is associated with poorer perinatal outcomes. For more information, see Clinical commentary.
This indicator examines the number of all women who gave birth that reported smoking in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and those who reported continuing to smoke after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The interactive data visualisation below presents data on smoking for all women giving birth in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and for those who continued smoking after the first 20 weeks by selected maternal characteristics. Click the Data tables button to view the data between 2011 and 2020 and use the radio buttons to see how each characteristic has changed during this time.
Smoking in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy for all women giving birth, by state/territory and all Australia, 2011 to 2020.
The chart shows the proportion (%) of all women who gave birth who smoked in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy from 2011 to 2020. Data can be viewed for each state/territory of birth, and for all Australia. The proportion for all Australian mothers decreased from 13% in 2011 to 8.8% in 2020.
Another smoking indicator can be selected showing the proportion of all women who gave birth and reported smoking in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy who also reported smoking during pregnancy after twenty weeks. This proportion has increased from 2011 (71%) to 2020 (74%).
Women who smoke tobacco during pregnancy are more likely to experience pre-term birth, placental complications and perinatal death of their baby (WHO 2013).
Babies of mothers who smoke during pregnancy are at increased risk of poor growth during pregnancy, particularly during the phase of rapid weight gain from 34 weeks of gestation onwards (Sirvinskiene et al. 2016). Sudden infant death syndrome, childhood diabetes and childhood obesity have been linked with exposure to tobacco during fetal development (Banderali et al. 2015; Flenady et al. 2018). Maternal smoking is associated with low birthweight, which in turn is associated with poor educational outcomes in early childhood, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and being overweight in adulthood (Guthridge et al. 2015; Lumley et al. 2009).
Smoking cessation during pregnancy is key in reducing the risk of complications during pregnancy and birth as well as reducing adverse health outcomes for the baby. Cessation at later stages of pregnancy will still improve health outcomes for the baby, including improved fetal growth (AIHW 2021; Miyazaki et al. 2015).
There are clear associations between smoking in pregnancy, age of the mother, remoteness of residence and disadvantage quintile evident in the results presented. Varying sociodemographic profiles of women who give birth in public and private hospitals needs to be taken into account when considering the higher rates of smoking in pregnancy for women giving birth in public hospitals.
Indicator specifications and data
Excel source data tables are available from the Data tab.
For more information, refer to Specifications and notes for analysis in the technical notes.
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) (2021). Stillbirths and neonatal deaths in Australia 2017-2018. Cat. No. PER 115. Canberra: AIHW.
Banderali G, Martelli A, Landi M, Moretti F, Betti F, Radaelli G, Lassandro C & Verduci E (2015). Short and long term health effects of parental tobacco smoking during pregnancy and lactation: a descriptive review. Journal of Translational Medicine 13:327.
Flenady V, Wojiezek AM & Middleton P (2018). Stillbirths: recall to action in high-income countries. Lancet 387(10019):691–702.
Guthridge S, Li L, Silburn S, Li SQ, McKenzie J & Lynch J (2015). Impact of perinatal health and socio-demographic factors on school education outcomes: A population study of Indigenous and non-Indigenous children in the Northern Territory. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 51(8):778–86.
Lumley J, Chamberlain C, Dowsell T, Oliver S, Oakley L & Watson L (2009). Interventions for promoting smoking cessation during pregnancy. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (3):CD001055.
Miyazaki Y, Hayashi K & Imazeki S (2015). Smoking cessation in pregnancy: psychosocial interventions and patient focused perspectives. International Journal of Women’s Health, 7:415–427.
Sirvinskiene G, Zemaitiene N, Jusiene R, Smigelskas K, Veryga A & Markuniene E (2016). Smoking during pregnancy in association with maternal emotional well-being. Medicina 52(2):132–138.
WHO (World Health Organization) (2013). Who recommendations for the prevention and management of tobacco use and second-hand smoke exposure in pregnancy. Viewed 30 September 2021.
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